Monday, October 25, 2021

Before the Storms

Kicked off a late morning with breakfast and the second season Halloween episode of Happy Days. Richie's asked to check out a supposedly "Haunted" house where Ralph's holding his annual Halloween party. His sister Joanie claims he'll lose his head if he goes in there, but Fonzie claims he needs to confront his fears. Richie is determined to go...and prove to his friends that some fear really is just all in your imagination.

Called Uber around twenty minutes to 12. I got a ride in less than ten minutes. The lady who picked me up was really sweet. She even had candy and bags of cookies in the seat; I took a bag of mini chocolate chip cookies for later. We pulled up to the dental office at Westmont Plaza less than five minutes later. (Turns out she worked at the AC Moore there before they closed. Oh, and I found out why Michael's didn't open there as planned; despite AC Moore having packed the store to the gills, Michael's still considered it to be too small.)

Got in around 12:48 and signed in. They pulled me in about 10 minutes later. Another pleasant older lady cleaned and scraped my teeth. They were fairly built-up, considering it's only been over a month since my last dental appointment. Took a half-hour. That's my last dental appointment for the year. I won't need another check-up and cleaning until February. 

Ran a few errands next. Picked up sponges and soap at the Dollar Tree next-door. Target and Dollar Tree cleared out most of their Halloween stock already. Had far more luck at the CVS a few blocks away. Found gift bags and plastic vampire teeth and bugs to put in them with the candy and tattoos I already had, along with the cheaper yellow Tide on sale. 

It was a lovely afternoon for a walk. The sun was out, shining and golden overhead. The sky was a searing blue, and it was breezy, warm, and humid. I very much enjoyed strolling down Cuthbert and Atlantic, past people on their way to work and mothers pushing their children.

Next stop was PNC Bank in Collingswood. Though I had to sign in online, they were dead quiet other than the one poor teller dealing with a lady taking out money and the people at the drive-in window. A plump, sweet young gentleman looked up my account and discovered I did have an offer for a simple charge card. I intend to strictly limit the card's use to weekly grocery trips and the occasional lunch out. The eager young man quickly got me approved; PNC will send me the card within 5 to 7 days. After I get it, I'll lower the amount to at least $500.

Strolled a few blocks down Haddon Avenue to Main Street Realty. One of my customers mentioned there was a realtor there who might be more receptive to help me...but I couldn't remember her name. I talked to two gentlemen and explained my problem. Basically, the men said try to talk to people and offer them 6 month's to a year's rent in lieu of regular monthly payments. 

I hadn't intended this to be a browsing trip, and many stores in Collingswood are closed on Mondays anyway. Called Uber at the parking lot behind Haddon Avenue, in front of the senior center, as soon as I finished with the realtors The older man picked me up in a quick two minutes and got me home in five.

Put everything away when I got home, then put together my Halloween treat bags while watching the horror-themed episode of the swashbuckler satire Jack of All Trades. Jack's partner Emilia takes a potion that makes her a "Dead Woman Walking," so she can find out who's desecrating tombs from the inside. Her potion works too well, making Govenor Croquey think she really is dead...and leading to her and Jack nearly being cremated! 

Switched to Tattletales on Buzzr as I continued making the treat bags. Married dancers Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce were the come-from-behind winners here, over comedian Shecky Greene and his wife Nalani and Greg Mulavey and his wife Meredith MacRae. 

Press Your Luck started out fairly subdued, with everyone getting some money in the first round and no whammies. They finally hit in the second; the one lady didn't get enough on her last turn to beat the other guy. He went home with a trip to Hawaii and a motorcycle.

Called Rose about the bike, but didn't get her, so I switched to writing. Brett finally reminds Queen Betty who's the boss here. She's ready to throw everyone out when the Cheshire Catwoman (Lee Merriweather) appears to upset everyone even further.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '77 while eating leftovers and a salad for dinner. Former Playmate of the Month Chris Cranston gets to admire Gene's snazzy two-toned shoes and take on a sweet-natured Hawaiian surfer woman. Richard and Dick Martin are happier ogling the ladies and helping them with "__ Rib." David Doyle argues the difference between wood chips and sawdust and is extremely nervous helping the southern-accented contestant with "__ Stadium" on Match Game PM

Lightning began as early as Match Game PM. By the time I moved on to Halloween Is Grinch Night, we were in the middle of a full-blown thunderstorm. It was the perfect backdrop for how little Eukeriah Who stopped the Grinch from coming down to Whoville with his "Paraphernalia Wagon" full of surreal Seussian scares. 

The rain continued on and off as I went online for House on Haunted Hill. Vincent Price headlines this classic 1959 horror film as eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren, who brings five people who desperately needs money to his house for a "ghost party." If they stay the night, they'll earn $10,000. His wife Annabelle (Carol Ohmart) seems to be more interested in avoiding the guests or at least debunking the ghosts. Dr. David Trent (Alan Marshal) also doesn't believe in ghosts, but poor young Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig) has seen too many rattling skeletons and vats of acid in the place to not be convinced. She, daring pilot Lance Schroder (Richard Long), and newspaper columnist Ruth Bridgers (Julie Mitchum) go from trying to win money to hoping they survive the night after Annabelle turns up dead and Fredrick gives them all guns to defend themselves. But are those guns as dangerous as they appear...and has Annabelle really joined the ghosts in the house, or is she up to something else?

Despite director William Castle using "Emergo" (swishing a skeleton in front of the audience) at certain parts of the film, this is actually one of his more straightforward fright fests. No camp elements, no major blood or gore (as in the 1999 remake). It's pretty much Clue played straight, with Price giving one of his best-known performances as Loren and Ohmart more than matching him as his frigid wife. If you love other old-haunted-house stories or Price, this is one "haunting" you'll want to sign up for.

Finished the night at Hulu with the Halloween episode of MASH. It's "Trick or Treatment" in the 11th season when the party at the 4077th is disrupted by wounded partiers, including one guy who gets a cue ball stuck in his mouth (George Wendt), and another who drove drunkenly through a chicken coup (Andrew Dice Clay, which should surprise no one). There's more brutally damaged wounded there, too, including one poor soldier who is too traumatized to eat after witnessing his friends killed having dinner in a fox hole and another man who turns out to be alive after being tagged as dead. 

(Incidentally, that rain has continued to provide spooky atmosphere off and on for the rest of the night, though the noise and pyrotechnics are long gone.) 

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